I try to keep the theatre separate from the journalism. Here’s a link to the Peter Fray Presents site and below is a still from my recent production, Blue Italian and Nil by Sea, two short plays by my wife Katie Pollock that deal with questions about belonging, immigration, refugees and home.
But the truth is, of course, they are both ways of telling story. Below is an edited extract from the introduction to Peter Fray Presents:
Theatre is a shared experience. In an atomised world, where so much content is on demand, the theatre remains a destination. You can’t sit at home and watch it: it is one of the few places where the herd gathers to experience the same thing, at the same time — and can’t catch up with what happened later. It is a watering hole.
That is the enduring power of theatre.
The primary producer’s concern is how to muster the herd — how to realise and release that power.
The theatre bug hit early: childhood pantomime (the princess, the dame) turned into teenage public speaking, acting and then writing. In 2000, I attended the NIDA playwright’s studio. My short play, Dog, was produced at Belvoir St (Downstairs) in the same year; another, Keeping Mum, was staged at the national playwrights conference a year later. Soon thereafter, I stopped writing, concentrated on journalism. Producing has been a way back into the theatre over the past five years. Done right, you gain a wonderful sense of satisfaction. Done poorly, it’s hell on earth.